A blog dedicated to the pursuit of all roads in the United States except Interstates

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Eastern Continental Divide, Blacksburg VA

Many people do not realize that there is a continental divide in the East. Like the better known one in the West, it separates large watersheds. This sign is adjacent to the eastbound lanes of U.S. Route 460, about five miles west of Blacksburg, Virginia. It is in the Jefferson National Forest immediately west of the Pandapas Pond Day Use Area. This recreation area has trails for hikers, mountain bike riders and equestrians.

Behind the sign is the watershed of Poverty Creek, which flows into the New River, then the Kanawha, then the Ohio, then the Mississippi and finally, the Gulf of Mexico.

Behind the photographer and on the opposite side of the highway, Craig Creek rises. It flows into the Roanoke River, which empties into Albemarle Sound, a bay of the Atlantic Ocean in North Carolina.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Robbinsville NC

This is a memorial plaque to Joyce Kilmer, famous for the poem "Trees." The name is a pseudonym, and in fact Joyce Kilmer was a man. He died in action during World War I in France.

The plaque is in the Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, seventeen miles from Robbinsville, North Carolina. Though popular, the site is well off the beaten track. You leave Robbinsville on US 129, follow the signs and turn left on a Forest Service road to the parking lot.

The plaque is in the center of a figure-8 trail. The hike around both loops is about two miles, and it's an easy hike on gentle grades. The back side of the loop passes some enormous trees in one of the last virgin forests in the East.

The memorial forest is part of the Nantahala National Forest. From the parking lot, other trails lead into a challenging wilderness.